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1990 300SEL
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Yeah, I'm just seeing them on eBay from Germany. Do you know if the Kiezle is in English?
I believe it autoloads the latest episode of Wetten, Dass?.

(At least I didn't say David Hasselhoff.)

There's an unboxing video of the Kienzle:
I'm pretty sure it's in English, since the buttons are in English, and since it's probably a lot of hassle for the OEM in Shenzhen to make the menus anything but English. (You didn't actually think this was produced in Germany, did you?)

The Porsche people paint that shiny knob black.

May I suggest a few more options:

1. Pioneer makes some very low-key head units.

2. Marine radios, like from Clarion, often have a simple look that fits well. Also radios for trucks. Both are sold on Amazon. (And no, I don't know why you'd specifically want a simpler look in a marine or truck radio, but that's the market demand. Maybe because you have a lot of different operators who may not be familiar with a unit's intricacies?)

3. Blaupunkt -- now a Shenzhen shop, unrelated to the old Blaupunkt -- makes some nice-looking head units that are absolute crap as far as sound and build quality. Oh wait, just like the old Blaupunkt. Anyway, that's an option. And at least the new Blaupunkt, unlike the old Blaupunkt, is very attractively priced.
 

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Outstanding Contributor
'17 GLS450, '14 GLK250 "Grandpa's Roadster" Project Car, 350SDL (Sold)
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Hey, the Blaupunkt AM/FM/SW radio in my 1961 SAAB GT750 was state of the art!
 

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1989 300SE 240k miles
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Couple things I noted: The max power output is 4x 40 watts. That’s not much in today’s world. And only 1 set of pre-out/rca outputs. But, if you’re running OE level equipment elsewhere, I bet that’d be fine.

What I was told is trucks are utility vehicles. Buttons and controls are generally large and simple for that reason. So that if you’re wearing work gloves or the like, you don’t hit the wrong thing.

Same for marine. Where you could easily hit a wrong button/control while on the water. And I suppose bigger/simpler means less areas for dirt and water to enter the unit.
 

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2009 CL63 AMG / 2013 GL550 / 1994 SL320
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...
Then I got the Alpine UTE-73BT new from Crutchfield for $119 and not only is it cheaper than the previous used "vintage" head units, it works much better, and it doesn't look offensively out-of-place.
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Damn - what's going on with Alpine's web page 😂 They're getting a bit silly with the stock photos. Love seeing pictures of high fives and people giving each other flowers when reading tech specs 🤣
Wheel Tire Car Product Motor vehicle
 

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Premium Member
1990 300SEL
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The max power output is 4x 40 watts.
Max doesn't count for anything. Look at RMS. And around 20 x 4 is almost a hard limit for built-in head unit power, because of 1) how much electricity for amplification you can draw from a 12V supply over a thin wire while still leaving enough power to run the electronics, 2) how much heat you can dissipate inside a dash. There are some Sony double-DIN head units that do something like 45w x 4 RMS, I think accomplished through very high efficiency. Sony and Alpine also sell "power packs" that are like tiny amps that fit behind your head unit (and get a separate power connection... but presumably no separate cooling method).

This is the cheapo MTX amp I have mounted under my passenger front seat. I paid something like $160 for it open-box, but regular price is $219. My first day playing with it, I overheated it, so I had the mechanic add a simple cooling fan to it; see photo attached. Not the best ventilation under that W126 seat. Don't know what's up with the dude's fingernail.

Audio equipment Finger Gadget Bicycle handlebar Electrical wiring
 

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1989 300SE 240k miles
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Max doesn't count for anything. Look at RMS. And around 20 x 4 is almost a hard limit for built-in head unit power, because of 1) how much electricity for amplification you can draw from a 12V supply over a thin wire while still leaving enough power to run the electronics, 2) how much heat you can dissipate inside a dash. There are some Sony double-DIN head units that do something like 45w x 4 RMS, I think accomplished through very high efficiency. Sony and Alpine also sell "power packs" that are like tiny amps that fit behind your head unit (and get a separate power connection... but presumably no separate cooling method).

This is the cheapo MTX amp I have mounted under my passenger front seat. I paid something like $160 for it open-box, but regular price is $219. My first day playing with it, I overheated it, so I had the mechanic add a simple cooling fan to it; see photo attached. Not the best ventilation under that W126 seat. Don't know what's up with the dude's fingernail.

View attachment 2712408
Agreed. And RMS is what matters. And the reason companies use max is because it’s usually soooooo much bigger than RMS. To me, a max of 40 means a really small RMS. Which was my point 😉
 

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1983 300SD 169k miles
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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
since it's probably a lot of hassle for the OEM in Shenzhen to make the menus anything but English
Interesting point. I lived in China for a little bit and got a feel for all flavors of Chinese made goods (particularly knockoffs... don't tell customs). My impression was they can do pretty much anything, it's really a matter of the extent to which they're putting their back into it. Or in this case, how much money is being put into the product by the Western company. People tend to look at the really cheap stuff and paint all Chinese goods with that brush rather than the (considerably more rare) quality products. That said, at the Kienzle price point I feel like you're probably right.
 

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1990 300SEL
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Never said they're incapable of non-English menus. Just said it's a lot of hassle for questionable market benefit. How big is the set of German-speakers shopping for a knockoff car stereo who will refuse to buy a product with English-language menus? Meanwhile, how many thousands of products is that factory likely cranking out with English-language menus?
 
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